mobile phone rip off

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    • #52370

      All of you who have a pay as you go phone, please ensure that you dont top up more than you need to per trip. If you dont use the phone for 3 months or 6 months (I am not sure of the period ) any credit left will used by the service provider thus helping their profits.

    • #66995
      Fuengi (Andrew)

      its in the agreement

      was in mine anyway.

    • #66996

      Mine is with Movistar and is valid for 6 months and if zero credit, you can hold the same number for a further 3 months.
      Far cheaper than using a UK phone for local calls in Spain and for connecting to the internet.

    • #66999

      I was not sugguesting that it is not in the contract. My point is that once you have paid the money its entirely upto you to use the phone as abd when,

      Why should a lapse in time allows the company to get hold of your money. Thats what I mean by rip off.

      If you set up a credit account and the company cocks it up. CAn you imagine the air time provided to look into it and re credit your account. NOt some how in Spain.,

    • #67000


      Why should they be taken your money and the line. Can you imagine how many such defunct numbers are there as people might have travelled six months and a day after.

      Once a number is allocated it should be your and when you want to use to load up the credits.

      Ofcourse, it is more expensive to use the UK phone ( though EU is onto it)

      THe subject on the forum was not comparisons about the tariffs. Its was about the telphone company helping them selves to your money.

      Another way to rip non Spaniards.

    • #67002

      Don’t know anyone who a telephone company has put a gun to their head, to force them to buy.
      If you don’t like the conditions, don’t buy and go back to as it was a few years ago and have to rely on public or hotel telephones.
      Seems to me there are people out there want everything, but don’t want to pay.
      Want the convenience, but when it comes to paying………

      The numbers are re-used, just the same as landlines.

    • #67010

      Hi Mg,
      Have you not heard of unfair terms of contract, restrictive contracts etc.

      I am not saying that I need the service for free nor am I complaining of the tariff charges. All I am saying is that once I have topped up my credit by (PAYING) than the service provider should let me use it as when I wish to use the money/equilevent units.

      Why should there be GRAB MY MONEY BY DATE ??????

      The situation does arise for people living in Spain but if you dont live there you will not know when you will need it and when the calender started the countdown

      I would like to see if you are stuck some where and your car breaks downs and you wish to contact a loved only to find out that your credits have been eaten up. ( I am sure that you will walk to the hotel/call box, hasnt the world moved on ? )

    • #67016

      Have you not heard of unfair terms of contract, restrictive contracts etc. – Yes, but what is unfair about when you bu a Movistar card, they tell you the terms and prior to buying, it states in their leaflet the duration of validity. Then when you top up, they send a txt to say when it is valid until.
      Fair enough to me.
      Convenience and accesibility is worth wasing a few euros for, if you do not use up in time.

      Also remember, when you top up, you pay for the call time, but there is a small percentage towards the supply and maintenance of the equipment.

      Would you expect the ‘phone company to keep your number “live” with a credit of say 1 euro, forever, should you decide never to return to Spain.
      Suppose the next complaint will be about throw away cameras. Why is it you cannot use for the next 20 years. Then there is if you are away, you should not be charge car tax.

    • #67017

      I have had a pay as you go phone from Orange for some six or seven years.
      For the first four years it was not used at all, but at no time did Orange
      cancel the credits on it.

      Maybe you should look at other company’s terms and conditions.

    • #67021
      Fuengi (Andrew)

      Shakeel i can understand that its a pain. But you did not have to go with that company. There are a multitude of providers for you to choose from. Shop around for the service that you want. (i’m sure you already know this). Personally I just went for a contract with movistar. Was, for me, alot simpler.

    • #67022

      If you have a Movistar mobile pay as you go you can check your credit by dialing 333 listening to some Spanish and when you finish the call they will send you a text with the amount of credit on it and the date you have to top up by to exend your contract.

      I keep a track of this and make sure I top up on line before the date given. You can do this for no charge once a day. I have had my phone now for over three years and at no time has the credit been taken away.

      Each time you top up you get a text confirming your balance and date limit.

    • #67025

      Thank you for the info arabrab. Can I do what you sugguested from UK ?

      If you are in Spain than not a problem as you will use the phone, its when you are in UK, that you forget when you were in Spain last and thus the six months issue arises.


    • #67046

      This loss of credit and line is not just a problem for those visiting Spain. I live here permanently and am a bit of dinoseur with mobiles (I cannot get my head round texting, eg.)

      I keep a mobile phone for emergencies only, as we have a landline. Unless I remember to use it periodically so that I use up the credit and top up, I lose it. It happened twice before I cottoned on.

      I agree with Shakeel…it’s mymoney and, yes, contract conditions apply but these greedy companies are making huge profits.

    • #67047

      “it’s mymoney and, yes, contract conditions apply but these greedy companies are making huge profits.” OK, you have paid for your call time, but some of that payment must go towards the cost of the setting up and transmission, so if the company has no income from you, why should they provide you with a service.
      If everyone adopted the practice of having a phone with €5 top up and not using it – result – no phone company.

      Perhaps the phone companies should introduce a standing charge per month for pay as you go phones, similar to landlines, electricity, gas and water companies, and keep the line live, as long as you pay.
      Then there would be complaints.
      Remember, that it as it used to be with contract phones. You paid you monthly fee and then the cost for every call made – no included minutes.

      Now that the mobile phone has bee around for a while, many seem to think it’s their right to be provided with a service.
      I think the mobile phone network is superb, as until the facilities of roaming when overseas, business people were often limited in their frequency of vacations.

    • #67048

      Thanks Shakeel for pointing this out. Was thinking of cancelling my contract in favour of buying credit as I now have a landline. For a few euros rather leave well alone I think.

      What a pity that some folk think being pedantic or sarcastic makes them important.
      Little do they know…………………. 🙄 🙄
      Have a good day everyone

    • #67050


      If no body used their mobile or just top it with €5, I think not !!!! there are around 55 million +/-, Spaniards, why would they give €5 to the telephone company for never using it.

      Do you honestly beleive

      1) A line provider would have set up business for just €5.

      2) The line provider would have done its due deligence.

      3) They would have management info from the land line use of average time, average bill etc.

      4) They would have worked out average earnings, social status, other social demographics etc.

      Finally, taking your unused credits/number, In the end would have its own cost.i.e. cancellation of contract, issuing these numbers to other, dealing with queries from people whose line has been taken, They than might have to issue another number for which there is marketing/processing cost not to mention the first 10€ free calls etc.

      The majority of the people would be who are habitually live in Spain according to Foreign office there are 600,000 brits live in Spain and say another 600, 000 other nationalities . Milking 1,200,000 every six months for say average €35 gives them €42,000,000 times twice a year gives than a nice earner of €84,000,000.

      I dont have the costings, but I am sure that the maintenance of their system does not cost €84,000,000, and the other 55,000,000 the (Spaniards) who use the phone business or private are also paying for the maintenance and development/expansion.

      Its a rip off full stop. When we have a throw away telephone the equation will change.

      presumumption otion Io 8 phI find it surMg

    • #67051

      So if it is a rip-off, who are the fools?
      The phone companies or the punters who support them?

    • #67053

      As in modern times it is a neccesity to comunicate, We dont have a choice.

      The subject was raised to make people aware. So they can decide what is the minumn they are willing to loose out.

      It seams that you dont need this information as you are willing to pay for a service that you have not received and I respect your decesion.

    • #67096

      Sorry Shakeel I have to agree with MG on this one. If you have a contract phone you have to pay a set amount per month. This goes towards the mainteneance of the line. And whether there are 5 people using it or 55 Million they still have to maintain the line. So why then should only people who have a contract be the ones who pay for the service. In any other servcie (electricity, water, telephone, gas) you pay a fixed amount every month. The fact that you pay as you go doesnt mean you should be expemt from paying for these services.

      You may never use them but that is your choice. I persoanlly never use hotel soap when I stay in a hotel but they are their anyway in case I need them which is obviously reflected int he price I pay.

      So it is with mobile phones. Pay as you go offers convenience but doesnt negate the fact you are still paying a propertion for the upkeep of the service.

      Also the fact that something happens in the UK doesnt mean it should happen here. Dont forget that we are in Spain and we are living under Spanish rules and regulations. If we dont like them and prefer the English way of doing things there is a simple solution.

      By the way I use a pay as you go phone.


    • #67098

      “As in modern times it is a neccesity to comunicate, We dont have a choice”
      You mean like those you hear in the supermarket ringing home to see what pizza they want, or in the airport ringing their mate to tell them they are having their fourth beer?
      Very much a “neccesity to comunicate”.
      Those would find the need to communicate whenerevr they want, don’t begrudge having to pay for the convenience.

    • #67105

      The top up rate per minute is higher than a normal monthy payment line.

      Those who have a top up system gets less mintes for their €, and this is difference is perhaps used towards maintenance of the system,

    • #67107

      But if you dont use your phone they dont make anything and they are a business not a charity. If you are a heavy user of the phone (like I am myself) then sure you pay over the odds for your calls – although it is possible to get rates as low as on contract at certain times of the day and free call time also. I know poeple who have 3 or 4 phones just for that reason – they pay a minimum amount each month to top up their phones and get free calls all the time – but only at certain times of the day.

      However that is not the point. The point is that the phone companies will only make a profit out of their service if everyone is using it and if some people do not use it then effectively the ones who are, are keeping the business going untill they do decide to use it. So I dont see the problem ina time limit on your credit. Youdont need a huge amount – €5 is usually enough to top up a phone and if this keeps you line active for 6 months then it is a lot less that you would [ay if you had a contract phone.

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